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Levon Aronian vs Magnus Carlsen
Sinquefield Cup (2013), Saint Louis USA, rd 2, Sep-10
Dutch Defense: General (A80)  ·  1/2-1/2
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 15 OF 15 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-10-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  chessdgc2: Yes, Aronian did a great job holding...
Sep-10-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: Good to see that nobody is perfect.

Neither Arionian which had an inferior position with white after 15 moves or so nor Carlsen, who was not able to win this game even after having a clear positional advantage with Black.

Sep-10-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <Kudos to Aronian for wiggling out of danger.>

Not that he was ever in any great danger. But any danger or disadvantage against Carlsen can be lethal.

Well done, Levon.

Sep-10-13  haydn20: In the postgame interview, Aronian said that the opening position had come up in analysis and he'd considered it fine for White, as he is up a Pawn. But when he saw the pos OTB, he realized to his horror that Black had huge play for the Pawn, and he ended up in a bad (but not necessarily losing)pos by mnove 10. Maybe something psychologically interesting here about opening analysis at home vs OTB. He also noted he felt sure Magnus had missed the "saving resource" 30. Ra1.
Sep-10-13  Edeltalent: <haydn20> He was talking about the variation 8.d5 e5 9.dxc6 exf4 10.cxb7 Bxb7 11.exf4 I believe.
Sep-10-13  haydn20: < Edeltalent: <haydn20> He was talking about the variation 8.d5 e5 9.dxc6 exf4 10.cxb7 Bxb7 11.exf4 I believe. > You are right. It's still interesting how an eval can change from "I'm up a Pawn " at home to "Holy Cow, I have no activity " OTB.
Sep-10-13  Pulo y Gata: Carlsen is obviously hiding his ref.
Sep-10-13  Pulo y Gata: Well, that's your openonion, but I am convinced he's hiding his ref.
Sep-10-13  csmath: Aronian is one lucky guy.

Magnus missed:

26. ... Na5?!

during the game I had no objection to this move, now I found it is a mistake.

This is a lot better plan:

26. ...Nd4!

27. Bd1 [white cannot exchange this bishop] ...b5 [finally]

28. axb5 axb5
29. cxb5 Nxb5

Look at the position. Now black brings one rook to a8, king to f7, knight back to d4, and then the other rook [if possible] to b8.

I do not see how can white prevent that. The play will center on the b2 pawn that will be a permanent weakness.

For example [this is not forced]:

30. Bd2 Ra8
31. Re1 Kf7
32. Rc1 Nd4

and white is nearly in the lost position.

Or trying exchanges [I think these are logical human moves]:

32. Nxb5 Bxb5
33. Bc3 Bd3
34. Bxg7 Kxg7
35. Rc1 Ra2
36. Bc2 Bb5
37. b3 Kf7
38. Re6 Rd8
39. Bd1 Rb2
40. Ra1 Rd7
41. Kh2 Bd3

and b-pawn or d-pawn cannot be defended both.

Sep-10-13  csmath: Of course getting that darn pawn does not mean winning the game but it would have been a lot more work to try to save that. White should try to get rook on a8 and try to unsettle black king. Whether that would be enough for a draw I have no idea but I have my doubts.

Alejandro Ramirez who is doing decent analyses on chessbase.com was also of the opinion that this was critical and that knight would have been better on d4 after the queen exchange than on a5.

Of course this is easy to say now, obviously such a great player like Magnus could not find the breakthrough even though the white position look almost lost after the opening.

Sep-10-13  ajile: There is a reason this variation is not seen in the database. White could have gained a much better position if he had played an early d5 with the Black knight still on c6 and pawn on e7. The reason is that in the normal ..Nc6 lines without Bf4 the push d5 can be answered by ..Ne5. But not here because White controls e5 with his extra piece (the Bf4). But White let Black off the hook by allowing Black to play ..e5 with the knight still on c6. Normally Black plays ..c6 and ..Qe8 to equalize against the Bf4 variation with an eventual ..e5. Either that or ..Nh5 attacking the Bf4. Again 6..Nc6? in this Bf4 line is probably a serious mistake if answered correctly.
Sep-11-13  pajaste: Ducth Leningrad that is. Nice to see it can still draw against top players.
Sep-11-13  Pulo y Gata: <Sep-10-13 Pulo y Gata: Well, that's your openonion, but I am convinced he's hiding his ref.

Sep-10-13 KKDEREK: why is that? what did happened today that makes you "think' that? He almost won btw..>

No one says Carlsen cannot win by hiding his ref. In fact, this is an important thing in his match against Anand, and he'll continue hiding his ref during the match as signaled by the initial concerns he aired about India as a venue. If he's not hiding his ref, where it is and what's in there?

Sep-11-13  pajaste: hmm there's at least A Sharevich vs A Muzychuk, 2010 which is the same until 11th (move order change). I do not envy those trying to organize these so called slower openings.
Sep-11-13  Hesam7: <csmath: Aronian is one lucky guy.

Magnus missed:

26. ... Na5?!

during the game I had no objection to this move, now I found it is a mistake.

This is a lot better plan:

26. ...Nd4!

27. Bd1 [white cannot exchange this bishop] ...b5 [finally]>

After 26...Nd4 White can simply play 27 Bd3 which prevents ...b5.

This means that Carlsen's original mistake was 23...Rbe8? instead he should have kept playing for the ...b5 break with <23...Rfe8!> after <24 Be1 Qb3 25 Qb3 Nb3 26 Bc2 Nd4> we get:


click for larger view

With the rook on b8, <27 Bd3> does not prevent the pawn break: <27...b5! 28 ab5 ab5 29 cb5 Re3 30 Bc4 Bb5 31 Nb5 Nb5>


click for larger view

White has too many weak pawns to survive, for example 32 b3 is met by 32...Na3 and 33...Nc4. My engine plays <32 Bb5> but after <32...Rb5 33 Bc3 c4> Black will win because his Rooks are much more active, an example: <34 Rfd1 Rb3 35 Ra1 Bc3 36 bc3 Kg7 37 Ra6 Rbc3 38 Rd6 Re4>


click for larger view

Sep-11-13  csmath: <@Hesam7<24 Be1 Qb3 25 Qb3 Nb3 26 Bc2 Nd4>>

I was looking at that during the game but it does not work because white won't have to initiate queen exchange:

24. Re1 Qb3
25. Ra1!

and now there is a threat of queen capture with 26. Qc1. If white takes b2 pawn with 25. ...Qxb2 the resulting position does not seem to yield anything either as seems only that white will possibly get a b-passer (after 26. Rb1 Qa3, 27. Bd2 b5) or rook to b6 with active game playing against black queen and d6 pawn. There is some wild tactical game in that case with all sort of sacrifices but white gets solid compensation.

After all perhaps there is just no win anywhere.

Sep-11-13  csmath: <26...Nd4 White can simply play 27 Bd3 which prevents ...b5.>

In this case black does not get break but:

27. Bd3 Bf6 [provoke weakness and secure e7 square]
28. g3 Re7
29. Bf2 Nb3 [obvious threat Nd2]
30. Rfe1 Rfe8
31. Rxe7 Rxe7

and now if white attempts to exchange second rook he will lose pawn on a4.

Black plan here is simple - black king goes f7-e8-d8 ...to a5 to pick up the pawn.

I do not see how can that be stopped short of exchanging rooks and losing a pawn on a4 anyway.

Sep-11-13  etnadnaimad: <csmath and hesam> where do you get your guts to criticize magnus' move and dare to suggest a better one? hahaha are you even a GM?
Sep-11-13  csmath: But perhaps there is just not win at all anywhere as long as white defends precisely.

This is one of those games that look like lost and yet it is just not possible to win it. :-)

Sep-11-13  etnadnaimad: <csmath and hesam> where do you get your guts to criticize magnus' move and dare to suggest a better one? hahaha are you even a GM? tsk tsk
Sep-11-13  csmath: We are analizing game as opposed to be participating idiotic discussions of some other type as this place is full of.

I don't even think in terms of Aronian and Carlsen but rather black and white pieces.

Sep-12-13  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 15...c5, 15...Nxe2 gains the bishop pair

Instead of 19...Rb8, 19..h6 gets ready for ...g5.

After 20 a4 Aronian plays for a draw and succeeds

Sep-12-13  Everett: <etnadnaimad: <csmath and hesam> where do you get your guts to criticize magnus' move and dare to suggest a better one? hahaha are you even a GM?>

As far as I have read, <hesam7> is a true fan and researcher of chess truth, and does a lot of great analysis with computer help, sharing it with the rest of us. He is merely pointing out possible improvements, not saying anything disparaging about the players.

Sep-13-13  Hesam7: Carlsen's take on the game:

<In round 2 on Tuesday I played the Dutch against Aronian. He went for the unusual Bf4 variation, and when he allowed my knight to e4 I was already somewhat better. Black had all the fun in this game, but despite a promising position I couldn't break through. I decided against the obvious exchange sacrifice Rxd3, as I had missed a critical resource for black later on. Aronian defended well, and it ended in a draw.>

http://www.arcticsec.no/index.php?b...

Sep-13-13  Ulhumbrus: <Hesam7: Carlsen's take on the game:

<In round 2 on Tuesday I played the Dutch against Aronian. He went for the unusual Bf4 variation, and when he allowed my knight to e4 I was already somewhat better. Black had all the fun in this game, but despite a promising position I couldn't break through. I decided against the obvious exchange sacrifice Rxd3, as I had missed a critical resource for black later on. Aronian defended well, and it ended in a draw.>

http://www.arcticsec.no/index.php?b>...

Carlsen may have meant 19...Rxd3 and not 18 ...Rxd3 because after 19 Bf2 White's queen's bishop defends no longer the b2 pawn following the move ...Nxc4 in reply to Rxd3

The exchange sacrifice ...Rxd3 is a way to develop the rook on e3 further, instead of withdrawing it to e8

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